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The phony pollsters of Hugo Chavez

By Aleksander Boyd

Caracas 16.11.06 | A few days ago Venezuelan official media published a poll that was allegedly conducted by Universidad Complutense of Madrid. Given that official media posted the poll, Reuters -in customary irresponsible and sloppy fashion- reprinted the stuff without even considering checking with Universidad Complutense whether or not it was done by them, as claimed. It took me a phone call and an email to find out that this poll was neither conducted by Universidad Complutense nor its results are endorsed by it. But this is not the first time that huge information outlets, such as Reuters, echo inanities coming from Chavez's propaganda machine. I have heard many international journalists here in Venezuela repeat without question fabricated arguments and all I can conclude is: in which Corn Flakes promotion did these people get their credentials? Only a week ago I heard in disbelief the antipathy and predisposition that Patricia Rondon, a Reuters journalist who was travelling with us, expressed for presidential candidate Manuel Rosales. And again I thought, how can journalists who have no qualms in expressing their admiration for the militaristic caudillo write objective articles and reports about Venezuela?

Readers will remember that this is not the first instance that pollsters favouring Chavez with large margins have been exposed here. We have the precedent of the North American Opinion Research, we then saw poll results presented by Zogby International whose association with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, etc. voids whatever credibility they may have had once upon a time. Evans/McDonough -another American pollster propagandist contracted by the revolutionary PDVSA - equally came out from the woods to announce with great fanfare that Hugo Chavez was 20 points ahead in the race. Purportedly it will publish two more polls before the election that, predictably, will show Chavez leading by a great margin.

Now we see how some professors from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid -who seem to be associated with radical groups such as ATTAC- abuse the name of that university to advance with a bogus poll the premise that Chavez has got more than 20% lead over Manuel Rosales. What's more in a country where the SENIAT boss -Venezuela's Inland Revenue- uses in front of the TV cameras information gathered from the Maisanta List to try and dodge responsibilities for corruption scandals in his office, how can pollsters that conduct face to face interviews at people's homes and are paid by the government be taken seriously?

Obviously Hugo Chavez's phony pollsters are so utterly unreliable that Reuters and other international media outlets would do well in doing their bloody jobs, research a bit and inform the public about the shady connections between these organizations and the Bolivarian regime.

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